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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 3:03PM #1
mokantx
Posts: 3,825

Yesterday, I thought quite a bit about the church, and where things stand at the moment.  It may be an understatement that this is a tense moment in the church, and that many expect something to happen.  Yet, I also realized that at least based on what we saw in the US, it's quite possible that the bishops will, once again, wait everybody else out, and nothing substantial will come of all of this.


I am curious as to what y'all think as to the future of the church, with regard to church structure, as well as the laity.  Will there be change, or will this become another "so what" kind of moment for the church?


Taking a "far out" kind of position, I would suggest that there will, within the next 5 years, be some kind of event, wherein the church's Cardinals are called to Rome to address the very structure of the hierarchical church.  In the past here, I've called this a Vatican Council, and to be honest, I think such a thing is very possible.  But even if it doesn't become something that big, I believe that the hierarchy is being called (dragged, kicking and screaming?) to address this apparent "gap" between the church of the hierarchy, and the church of those in the pews.  So I suspect this event (in whatever form it takes) will be to address the question of "what is church?"  I think it safe to say that at least for those of us who came of age (church-wise) with Vatican II, it appears that much of the key message of Vatican II has been discarded by the bishops.  So at a minimum, I'd expect this "event" to address that question of church, and if that it is NOT the intent of the church's leadership to discard Vatican II, then they will have to address how their agenda still "fits" with Vatican II.  Conversely, if they really DO wish to abandon those Vatican II teachings, then I think it will fall to them to explain why.


 


What will it take to restore credibility? For that matter, CAN it be restored?  And will those at the top take steps needed to actually start the healing?  Is this a "now what" or a "so what" kind of moment?


 


thoughts?


 


mo

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 3:32PM #2
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,136

Apr 5, 2010 -- 3:03PM, mokantx wrote:


Yesterday, I thought quite a bit about the church, and where things stand at the moment.  It may be an understatement that this is a tense moment in the church, and that many expect something to happen.  Yet, I also realized that at least based on what we saw in the US, it's quite possible that the bishops will, once again, wait everybody else out, and nothing substantial will come of all of this.


That is the most probable scenario.


I am curious as to what y'all think as to the future of the church, with regard to church structure, as well as the laity.  Will there be change, or will this become another "so what" kind of moment for the church?


Most likely another "so-what" moment.


When a top Cardinal, speaking as a top-level papal advisor, can dismiss the uproar as having no more substance than "the gossip of Italian housewives," one can safely conclude that, in their minds, there is no need to change church structure/governance.


Taking a "far out" kind of position, I would suggest that there will, within the next 5 years, be some kind of event, wherein the church's Cardinals are called to Rome to address the very structure of the hierarchical church. 


This possibility is beyond my wildest hopes.


In the past here, I've called this a Vatican Council, and to be honest, I think such a thing is very possible.  But even if it doesn't become something that big, I believe that the hierarchy is being called (dragged, kicking and screaming?) to address this apparent "gap" between the church of the hierarchy, and the church of those in the pews.  So I suspect this event (in whatever form it takes) will be to address the question of "what is church?"  I think it safe to say that at least for those of us who came of age (church-wise) with Vatican II, it appears that much of the key message of Vatican II has been discarded by the bishops.  So at a minimum, I'd expect this "event" to address that question of church, and if that it is NOT the intent of the church's leadership to discard Vatican II, then they will have to address how their agenda still "fits" with Vatican II.  Conversely, if they really DO wish to abandon those Vatican II teachings, then I think it will fall to them to explain why.


They have already explained this - most of those who were actually alive at the time of Vatican II (including most of the bishops who were there) "misunderstood" what it really meant.  Thus, there is no need to address abandonment of Vatican II teachings, because they will simply say that haven't abandoned anything - that they are the true implementers of Vatican II.


 What will it take to restore credibility? For that matter, CAN it be restored?  And will those at the top take steps needed to actually start the healing?  Is this a "now what" or a "so what" kind of moment?


So far, the response of the hierarchy and Rome has consisted exclusively of soothing, but meaningless, words, and no action.  Once people realize that it's all empty words, any hope for  real healing evaporates.


 thoughts?


 mo





Mo, you are definitely an optimist! I would be thrilled if your predictions are right. However, I would be willing to undertake a substantial wager that you are wrong.


Nothing will change as long as the laity remains passive.  That is what has happened in the U.S. since 2002, and it is very likely that the situation will settle down and the same thing will happen in Ireland and Europe. 


However, a couple of victims are trying to organize something in Rome next fall (see ncronline).  They hope that 50,000 people will show for it.  I am already thinking of cashing in some of my frequent flyer miles and heading for Rome if it comes to pass.  Just to support them in their efforts, even if nothing actually changes because of it.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 4:41PM #3
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Apr 5, 2010 -- 3:03PM, mokantx wrote:


What will it take to restore credibility? For that matter, CAN it be restored?  And will those at the top take steps needed to actually start the healing?  Is this a "now what" or a "so what" kind of moment?


thoughts?


mo




Two things come to mind at once. First, Benecict has chosen to stay mute on the subject all week, letting other prelates do most of the talking, much of which is contradictory.


Second, his next planned move is a trip to Malta this month:



What is unclear is whether Benedict is looking for friendlier soil than Italy on which to stage his next comeback-- a welcoming island of support, perhaps, in the turbulence that's now swirling around the Mediterranean. What's even less clear is whether the Maltese are going to give him the props and supporting cast that such a well-orchestrated revival requires:


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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 5:36PM #4
woodmanx
Posts: 466

Apr 5, 2010 -- 3:03PM, mokantx wrote:


Yesterday, I thought quite a bit about the church, and where things stand at the moment.  It may be an understatement that this is a tense moment in the church, and that many expect something to happen.  Yet, I also realized that at least based on what we saw in the US, it's quite possible that the bishops will, once again, wait everybody else out, and nothing substantial will come of all of this.


 


To me, this seems the most logical response, based on actions (n or more accurately, inactions) of the US bishops to make any substantive oversight changes with respect to themselves.


 


I am curious as to what y'all think as to the future of the church, with regard to church structure, as well as the laity.  Will there be change, or will this become another "so what" kind of moment for the church?


 


Another "so-what" moment.  When maintaining the institution is the be-all, end-all goal, change is the last thing wanted.


 


Taking a "far out" kind of position, I would suggest that there will, within the next 5 years, be some kind of event, wherein the church's Cardinals are called to Rome to address the very structure of the hierarchical church.  In the past here, I've called this a Vatican Council, and to be honest, I think such a thing is very possible.  But even if it doesn't become something that big, I believe that the hierarchy is being called (dragged, kicking and screaming?) to address this apparent "gap" between the church of the hierarchy, and the church of those in the pews.  So I suspect this event (in whatever form it takes) will be to address the question of "what is church?"  I think it safe to say that at least for those of us who came of age (church-wise) with Vatican II, it appears that much of the key message of Vatican II has been discarded by the bishops.  So at a minimum, I'd expect this "event" to address that question of church, and if that it is NOT the intent of the church's leadership to discard Vatican II, then they will have to address how their agenda still "fits" with Vatican II.  Conversely, if they really DO wish to abandon those Vatican II teachings, then I think it will fall to them to explain why.


 


I agree with Wavering in that I think you are too optimistic.  The bishops who are charged with interpresting and applying the message of Vat II have been appointed as bishops not because of their progressive views, but because of adherence to status quo and to a turning back of changes that seem scandalous to conservatives and traditionalists.  These bishops didn't get to where they are by being cutting edge.


 


What will it take to restore credibility? For that matter, CAN it be restored?  And will those at the top take steps needed to actually start the healing?  Is this a "now what" or a "so what" kind of moment?


 


thoughts?


 


mo






In the near future, at least in first world countries, I see a hierarchy pulling the wagons even tighter into the circle.  I see the pope's spokesmen (but not the pope himself) continuing to shoot the messengers, but not makiing any substantive changes to business as usual.  I see a smaller and purer church, but as the next generations move forward, I see the tight hold that the RCC had on our parents and some of us, weakening at each subsequent generation, particularly among the women.  There will always be the apologists for the hierarchy, but I see this group becoming smaller and smaller, and more marginalized.  I see this already happening in Europe, and the US is only a few years behind.  I see the RCC becoming irrelevent for many of our children.


As far as credibility, the RCC will never lose it among a certain segment of its adherents, but it was lost long ago for many others, and I don't see it restored without wholesale changes in the governing structure, and I don't see that happening any time soon.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 6:02PM #5
mokantx
Posts: 3,825

Apr 5, 2010 -- 5:36PM, woodmanx wrote:


In the near future, at least in first world countries, I see a hierarchy pulling the wagons even tighter into the circle.  I see the pope's spokesmen (but not the pope himself) continuing to shoot the messengers, but not makiing any substantive changes to business as usual.  I see a smaller and purer church, but as the next generations move forward, I see the tight hold that the RCC had on our parents and some of us, weakening at each subsequent generation, particularly among the women.  There will always be the apologists for the hierarchy, but I see this group becoming smaller and smaller, and more marginalized.  I see this already happening in Europe, and the US is only a few years behind.  I see the RCC becoming irrelevent for many of our children.


As far as credibility, the RCC will never lose it among a certain segment of its adherents, but it was lost long ago for many others, and I don't see it restored without wholesale changes in the governing structure, and I don't see that happening any time soon.




Wood


As you've no doubt heard me say here before, I think the future of the church rests, as it usually does, in the hold it has on the hearts of women. That's not to downplay those men who can anchor a family's religion, but I suspect the norm is that it's usually the woman who drives the family religion.


To that end, I see three major issues faced by the church in the battle for the hearts of women, and especially, the future generations they will influence.


The first is Humanae Vitae.  Whether people feel that the sexual revolution, feminism, the pill (etc.) was a good thing or not, it has happened.  And the end result is the rise of a sense by women, that they have a right to control their own bodies, that stands equal to the right of men to control theirs.  Setting the abortion issue aside for a moment, most women see great  need, and I think even a responsibility, to regulate their birth rate.  If you love your children, born and unborn, you generally do not seek poverty for them.  You wish to be able to create the optimal environment that you can for them.  Factored into that is your relationship with your husband, and your desire to be part of a larger community.  Birth control is a piece of this picture.  The church itself understand this, as it promulgates ITS version of birth control.  But the logic behind this version has not connected with men and especially women in the church, so most have rejected the teaching.  I daresay that by fighting the laity as hard as it has on this particular point, the church's leadership has actually lost some of its effectiveness in its arguments against abortion.  Bottom line, the church is seen as being grossly out of step on this one, AND as being paternilstically controlling.


The second is the role of women in the church itself.  Whether it be ordination, or heading the various Dicasteries in the Vatican, there is a clear message being heard by women, whether intended by the church or not.  Women are still deemed to be something slightly less than men.  That message rings loud and clear to many.  Benedict's efforts to reinstate the Latin Mass simply reinforce that message in spades.


Lastly, the scandal itself.  Mothers are protective of their children: they can't HELP but be that.  So when the church's leadership comes off first as choosing clergy over kids, that's a HUGE red flag.  Then when they continue to play the "nobody's responsible" card, that message isn't lost at all.  The bottom line is that the words may suggest the bishops want to change things, but I think we can all agree that were mothers in positions of power, there WOULD be people held responsible for this.  What has happened is wrong, plain and simple. 


 


Taken together, the RCC continues to be seen as a less and less "friendly" place to many women. 


I think all three of our daughters are shifting back to a mode where they might entertain going back to church.  Yet every time we talk to them, it becomes quite clear that two things are going on.  First off, they're not interested in the RCC, at least as it currently exists.  Secondly, it's going to take a LONG time for them to trust ANY religion. 


So I think you're spot on about all of this and the effect of losing the hearts of women in the church.  The real toll on the church has not been seen, despite the billions of dollars spent, the heated debates, etc.  The real toll will surface over the next two generations.  And the longer the bishops diddle around with all of this, the greater and more irreparable that toll will be.


mo

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 6:08PM #6
Mysty101
Posts: 2,020

Oh I think something will happen.  If Dan & I are suggesting the Pope step down, there must be many who feel this, and in a stronger manner. 


I fear for the safety of the Pope.  He cannot continue to pretend this will go away.


SuZ

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 6:36PM #7
Dutch777
Posts: 9,124

Apr 5, 2010 -- 3:03PM, mokantx wrote:


Yesterday, I thought quite a bit about the church, and where things stand at the moment.  It may be an understatement that this is a tense moment in the church, and that many expect something to happen.  Yet, I also realized that at least based on what we saw in the US, it's quite possible that the bishops will, once again, wait everybody else out, and nothing substantial will come of all of this.


I'm laying my twenty bucks on this one.


I am curious as to what y'all think as to the future of the church, with regard to church structure, as well as the laity.  Will there be change, or will this become another "so what" kind of moment for the church?


This will just seep down the cracks and mostly forgotten.


Taking a "far out" kind of position, I would suggest that there will, within the next 5 years, be some kind of event, wherein the church's Cardinals are called to Rome to address the very structure of the hierarchical church.  In the past here, I've called this a Vatican Council, and to be honest, I think such a thing is very possible.  But even if it doesn't become something that big, I believe that the hierarchy is being called (dragged, kicking and screaming?) to address this apparent "gap" between the church of the hierarchy, and the church of those in the pews.  So I suspect this event (in whatever form it takes) will be to address the question of "what is church?"  I think it safe to say that at least for those of us who came of age (church-wise) with Vatican II, it appears that much of the key message of Vatican II has been discarded by the bishops.  So at a minimum, I'd expect this "event" to address that question of church, and if that it is NOT the intent of the church's leadership to discard Vatican II, then they will have to address how their agenda still "fits" with Vatican II.  Conversely, if they really DO wish to abandon those Vatican II teachings, then I think it will fall to them to explain why.


Why should the pointy hats and red birettas make fundamental change?  They're in control of everything in an essentially dominational system.  They make and enforce policy, which then flows unidirectionally downwards.  The laity have zero voice in the governance of their church.   The PsTB aren't answerable to the laity; only to themselves.


Why change?  Make the legally mandated pay-outs then soak the laity for more funding.  This will blow-over in a few years or a few decades.  Rome has been around for a very long time and has weathered many tornados.


 


What will it take to restore credibility? For that matter, CAN it be restored?  And will those at the top take steps needed to actually start the healing?  Is this a "now what" or a "so what" kind of moment?


Those who require "credibility" have left or are leaving.  Those who remain are satisfied with "credulosity".


 


thoughts?


 


mo




Don't bet the ranch on fundamental change




The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 6:55PM #8
ted08721
Posts: 3,765

Apr 5, 2010 -- 6:08PM, Mysty101 wrote:


Oh I think something will happen.  If Dan & I are suggesting the Pope step down, there must be many who feel this, and in a stronger manner. 


I fear for the safety of the Pope.  He cannot continue to pretend this will go away.


SuZ





You may be right , at a couple other forums I visit there are a few that are always 110% behind Rome and they to are calling for action

Looks like we have a few more PROTESTANTS in the Church :)

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 7:06PM #9
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Apr 5, 2010 -- 5:36PM, woodmanx wrote:


As far as credibility, the RCC will never lose it among a certain segment of its adherents, but it was lost long ago for many others, and I don't see it restored without wholesale changes in the governing structure, and I don't see that happening any time soon.




I agree. There will always be a solid core of believers whose religiosity is clericalism and it consists primarily of magical thinking and worshiping authority figures. As I've seen it unfold since V-II, these people feel deeply threatened by any attempts at reform, and any compromise for charity's sake is simply not an option.


As this all unfolds, it strikes me more & more that the most powerful and influential Catholic in the last century, in terms of having his vision of the Church as an autocratic and secretive corporation prevail, was Alfredo Ottaviani, and all three Popes since John XXIII have made the preservation of Papal power the Church's number one priority. How Ottaviani gained that much power and how his ghost still wields it from the shadows is really the stuff of the next Dan Brown blockbuster. Benedict's recent behavior seems to defy any rational instinct for self-preservation, and that in itself implies that there's a much darker secret that will inevitably come out if he drops his guard.

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5 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 7:23PM #10
Mysty101
Posts: 2,020

Apr 5, 2010 -- 6:55PM, ted08721 wrote:


Apr 5, 2010 -- 6:08PM, Mysty101 wrote:


Oh I think something will happen.  If Dan & I are suggesting the Pope step down, there must be many who feel this, and in a stronger manner. 


I fear for the safety of the Pope.  He cannot continue to pretend this will go away.


SuZ





You may be right , at a couple other forums I visit there are a few that are always 110% behind Rome and they to are calling for action

Looks like we have a few more PROTESTANTS in the Church :)




Hi,


I don't see this as going against Catholic teaching--it is calling for a response to claims of serious errors in handling of allegations of abuse.


Wink


SuZ

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